A Nation of Cheeses
French President Charles de Gaulle once quipped, “Nobody can simply bring together a country that has 265 kinds of cheese.” France certainly is a country that is as diverse as it’s cheeses. One of the most physically diverse countries in Europe, France’s numerous cheeses mirror this widespread diversity.
If one were to study French cheeses and the regions of France in which they were produced, a pattern would emerge. In the west-central area of France, goat’s-milk cheeses predominate, and in the Pyrénées Mountains, there is an abundance of sheep milk’s cheeses—or ‘Brebis’—French for sheep.
The luscious cheese that we are featuring today comes from The Pyrénées. The Pyrénées Mountains stretch from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, creating a natural border between France and Spain, which is known as Basque Country. Crafted in the Ossau Valley of Basque Country from raw sheep’s milk and aged 8-9 months, Vallee d’ Aspe Ossau Iraty is one of the most pairable cheeses around.
Beneath it’s mottled, straw-colored rind lies a creamy, white paste that is slightly sweet and nutty, with a gentle richness that is quite pleasing. Subtle yet complex, Ossau Iraty makes the perfect everyday cheese.
In a Nutshell…
|Milk Type||Sheep, Raw|
|Cheese Type||Natural Rind|